Going green can sound like an expensive, time-consuming task with little incentive to put forth the effort. In reality, making your home more eco-friendly can save you thousands of dollars in energy bills alone. Becoming more eco-friendly doesn’t have to mean a total home renovation. A few quick, simple adjustments can lower your energy consumption, reduce your carbon footprint, and save you money.
The Average Shower Expends 17 Gallons of Water
Showers are one of the leading causes of high water bills. Water flow rates combined with the energy used to heat the water make showering a typical culprit for energy waste. Investing in a low flow showerhead can cost as little as $5. This simple change can result in 25-60% less water consumption compared to a standard showerhead. In just a few weeks, this purchase pays for itself.
Heating Your Pool Can Cost More Than $500 Per Month
The energy needed to heat an entire pool can really put a dent in your monthly bills. For just a bit extra, it may be worth your time to purchase a solar pool cover. These covers use the sun to heat and maintain pool temperature without costing you a nickel to keep it going. These covers can be pricey, particularly for larger pools, but this one-time purchase is likely equivalent to the cost of heating your pool for a single month.
Furthermore, it is estimated that for every degree you raise your pool’s temperature, your personal energy consumption can go up 30%. Even if you only heat your pool during the summer months, a solar cover can save you more than $1,000 in heating costs.
CLF Bulbs Use Less Energy and Last Longer
CFL’s (Compact Fluorescent Lights) are often skipped over when shopping for replacement bulbs because they are closer to $5 a bulb as opposed to the cheaper varieties. However, for only a few dollars more, you get a bulb that uses only a quarter of the energy with a lifespan up to ten times longer than standard, incandescent light bulbs.
Incandescent bulbs are far cheaper on the shelf but are extremely inefficient, converting only about 5% of energy used into usable light. For one CLF, you would need to purchase 10 incandescent bulbs, meaning you spend $5 regardless. The cost of energy for each option is drastically different. The CFL will cost you approximately $22 in its lifetime while the 10 incandescent bulbs will cost you closer to $85. In the long run, the eco-friendly option is by far the cheapest.
Throwing Out Scraps is Throwing Out Money
A small compost bin in your kitchen can save you money in more ways than you probably realize. First of all, homemade compost gives your garden the nutrients it needs without dropping $10 on organic garden fertilizers. Composting also works to save you money in purchasing trash bags: With a lower volume of waste, the need for trash bags will diminish, also reducing plastic waste.
Keeping Your Home Cool Doesn’t Have to Cost a Fortune
With the sun beaming down on dark shingles, it’s no wonder AC bills can go through the roof in the summer. While good insulation can certainly help keep your energy costs low, a less invasive method can also be used to keep your home cooler. A jaunt to the nearest plant nursery can bring shade and windbreakers to your lawn, shielding your home from the scorching sun. Thick shrubs can reduce both heat in the summer and wind chill in the winter.
Saplings can cost a pretty penny but if your home is going to be a long term living situation, it may be worth one expensive shopping trip to reduce heat from the sun and decrease your AC bills. Beyond that, the more plants you have in your area, the cooler it becomes. Using a process called transpiration, plants can release a small amount of water into the air to cool both themselves and your home.
Living an eco-friendly lifestyle does not necessarily mean replacing all your appliances with alternatives, though it is a great option if it’s within your budget. It can be as simple and inexpensive as composting your food scraps or buying a new lightbulb. With a positive impact on the earth and on your wallet, these are a few easy modifications you won’t mind making.
Paul Denikin began learning the ins and outs of DIY home repair while making his home better fit and more accessible for his daughter, Maggie, who has special needs. Paul wants to continue to help special needs parents like himself, and offer them a source for ideas. And that’s why he created DadKnowsDIY.com, a website that offers home improvement project how-tos and other accessibility information. When Paul isn’t being handy around the house, he likes to take Maggie to the movies on the weekends.
Image via Pixabay by ColiN00B